Private Project

A Strange Bird

Two young women take a walk in the park on their day off, sharing recent experiences that have left lasting impressions on them both. Then by cinematic slight of hand, they switch roles and the same two stories take on new shades of meaning when the tellers of the tales exchange places.

  • David Bemis
    In the Bag, In Your Drems, The Date, I Hate That
  • David Bemis
    In the Bag, In Your Drems, The Date, I Hate That
  • Jen Jacob
    Key Cast
    Master of None, GIRLS, 30 ROCK, Top Five, Begin Again
  • Amber Reauchean Williams
    Key Cast
    Utilities Included, We Can Do It, F-Girls, Little Sister, Young Widows
  • Faceless FIsh Productions, LLC
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 34 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 9, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    13,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital - Arri Amira
  • Aspect Ratio:
    2:35 Scope
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • LA Shorts Awards Competition
    Los Angeles, CA
    United States
    February 15, 2018
    Winner/Diamond Award for Best Drama
  • Queen Palm International Film Festival
    Los Angeles, CA
    United States
    Official Selection
  • Miami Short Film Festival
    Miami, FL
    United States
    Special Selection
  • Katra Film Series - Sidebar Edition
    Brooklyn, NY
    United States
    September 14, 2018
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
  • New York Short Film Festival
    New York, NY
    United States
    November 8, 2018
    Official Selection
Director Biography - David Bemis

DAVID BEMIS – Writer, Director, Photographer

David Bemis is a filmmaker/photographer and the principal of Faceless Fish Productions, LLC, a New York City based production company creating original films and photographic series. David has been taking photographs for more than forty years, and after working in NYC as a freelance multimedia graphic designer, has been making independent films for over ten years.

David is currently producing and directing a series of short films for web viewing dealing with the challenges we face in communicating with each other. His most recent short, "A Strange Bird" won the Diamond Award for Best Dramatic Short at the LA SHORTS AWARDS, February Edition, was an Official Coronet Selection at the Queen Palm International Film Festival, August 2018 Edition, screened as an Official Selection at the 2018 Katra Film Series- SIdebar Edition on September 14, screened as an Official Selection at the 2018 New York Short Film Festival on November 8 at the Village Cinema in NYC and was Semi-Finalist/Special Selection at the 2018 Miami Short Film Festival with a special events screening in 2019. “I Hate That,” was an Official Selection of the 2017 NYShorts Fest screening at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema in NYC on June 1, 2017, and was an Official Selection of the Berlin Flash Film Festival. “The Date” was selected to compete in the November 2015 Shooting People's Film of the Month competition and finished fourth in a field of twelve competing films. The Date was an Official Selection in the 2015 Back in the Box Competition. The short “In Your Dreams” was an official selection of the 2015 NYShortsFest screening at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema in NYC on May 26, 2015. "In The Bag," a narrative short love story, screened at the Hoboken International Film Festival and at the NewFilmmakers NYC Summer Series in 2009, as well as winning the weekly WNET Reel 13 Shorts online competition May 29, 2009. “In The Bag” was broadcast as part of WNET/Thirteen’s Reel Thirteen Program on June 6, 2009. "Death of an Industrialist: A Family History," an hour long fictive non-fiction film about the life and death of David’s great grandfather, Howard R. Bemis, premiered at the Silver Lake Film Festival in Los Angeles in 2002 and was shown at the Dallas Video Festival in 2003. "My Imagination," a dreamscape travelogue won a Bronze Award for experimental video/mixed media at the 1999 Worldfest Houston Film & Video Festival, screened at the 13th Annual Dallas Video Festival in March 2000 and also screened at the Knitting Factory in NYC at a 1999 Video Lounge presentation. The film was accepted into the Ifilm website in the experimental section.

Current projects include a feature film script entitled “Plenty of Time for That” about the struggles of a personal assistant working for an out of control real estate developer and the ongoing photo essay entitled “Saturday in NYC,” photographs by David Bemis.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The idea for this film came from a conversation I overheard between two young women walking behind me down First Avenue in the East Village in NYC. I was struck by the story being told about a recent encounter one of the women had, and it stayed with me. While sitting on a porch writing in my notebook in the summertime, I watched a beautiful bird land not far off from me. I wrote down what I saw the bird do in my notebook and almost immediately after the experience of watching the bird, the memory of the women's conversation came to me. I made some notes of the memory and started right in on combining the two experiences into a short film script. There was a unifying sense of longing and bemusement in both experiences that propelled me along in the writing.

We tell stories in an attempt to reach out to one another, and to understand what we feel about the things that happen to us. It is always a challenge to figure any of it out. The two characters in the film tell and listen to each other's story and come away with a shared experience on a beautiful day in the park. They've helped each other learn something about themselves.

The idea to tell the story twice and have the same actors switch roles came from auditioning actors. I've held a number of auditions for the shorts I have been writing and directing, and in the process I often have actors read several different roles. The effect and meaning of a role changes radically in the hands of different actors. It occurred to me that it would be very interesting to explore that difference within a single film. I really like the shifts in mood and subtext that happens when the actors switch roles in this short. At first glance it may be a bit jarring, but I think it plays with and explores our assumptions about who we are and what we believe in. At any rate, that was my intention.